Whilst recognising that financial stability and market reassurance are the prime goals of Jeremy Hunt’s statement earlier this morning, FCSA is disappointed that the proposed rollback of off-payroll working rules has been scrapped by the Chancellor. Chris Bryce, FCSA’s Chief Executive, said, “The scrapping of the rollback of the 2017 and 2021 IR35 rules is disappointing. This will add to the confusion in the contractor marketplace and will also do nothing to improve the agility and flexibility contractors offer UK plc. However, the Chancellor also recognised that re-introducing the 10% rise in National Insurance Contributions dropped by his predecessor, would have been a step too far and, since that tax would have disproportionately affected those working via umbrella companies, I’m pleased that it currently remains off Jeremy Hunt’s agenda.”
Also dropped today – and it would seem indefinitely – was the reduction basic rate of income tax from 20% to 19%, with even Rishi Sunak’s target date of April 2024 now off the table.
Bryce continues, “The government realistically had little choice but to dance the Hokey Cokey on Kwasi Kwarteng’s so-called mini-budget. Markets and businesses react badly to uncertainty and steeper borrowing, and I hope that a steadier hand on the tiller will give both the markets and our industry some stability in the medium term. What is clear is that Liz Truss’ economic views have been supplanted by Hunt’s and the immediate market reaction indicates that it’s unlikely she’ll be able to credibly speak on fiscal policy for quite a while, if ever.
“As always I, and FCSA, stand ready to work with Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, and other ministers towards ensuring finding fully compliant, practical and workable solutions to the issues surrounding contracting and the whole temporary labour market in the UK.”